How to Recover from Emotional TraumaCamila Archuleta
Seeking Treatment to Overcome Emotionally Based Trauma
Have you experienced trauma? These events can be the most difficult that a person goes through, and recovering from them can take time. The first step in emotional trauma recovery is knowing what the roadmap to your trauma recovery looks like. Read on to find out what this looks like.
Icarus Behavioral Health can help if you’ve experienced emotional trauma and you’re in need of recovery. The process is not easy, but you can learn to cope with what has happened and move forward in life. Our compassionate team has helped many clients to achieve this outcome.
In our blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about how to recover from emotional trauma. We’ll look at the different types of trauma, how to recognize it, and how to begin the healing process.
What Is Emotional Trauma?
Emotional trauma is a type of psychological injury that results from either experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event or series of traumatic events that are threatening or cause intense fear, sadness, distress, shock, and/or anxiety. It can also be caused by repeated exposure to negative experiences over a period of time, such as in cases of abuse or neglect.
The impact of a traumatic event or experience can vary greatly from person to person, with some people recovering quickly while others struggle with emotional and psychological trauma more significantly for longer periods of time. Emotional trauma can also manifest as physical symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, stomach problems, or chest pain.
What Are the Different Types of Emotional Trauma?
There are a variety of different types of psychological and emotional trauma that trauma survivors may experience. These include:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can surface after a person has been exposed to a traumatic event. It can be caused by directly experiencing the event, or indirectly witnessing it happen to someone else. For example, you may have been a victim of domestic violence, serious illness, or sexual abuse.
Symptoms of PTSD include intrusive memories, flashbacks, nightmares and intense emotional or physical reactions when thinking about the event. These symptoms can cause significant distress and can interfere with a person’s daily functioning. PTSD can last for months or years if it is left untreated, which is one of the reasons why it is crucial to receive professional help to work through the trauma.
Secondary Trauma Following a Traumatic Event
It is also possible to experience PTSD even if you weren’t directly exposed to the traumatic event; if you are close friends or family members of someone who has experienced something traumatic, you may be at risk of developing PTSD. This is known as vicarious trauma or secondary trauma and can lead to similar symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and difficulty sleeping.
Certain populations are more vulnerable to the development of PTSD than others; for example, people who have experienced previous trauma in their life or those who have a personal or family history of mental health issues may be more at risk. Other factors that can increase the risk of PTSD and CPSTD (Complex Trauma) include having a lack of social support, living in an unstable or unsafe environment alone, and experiencing poverty or other difficult life circumstances.
Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)
Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) is a condition that is similar to PTSD but occurs soon after psychological trauma occurs. Its symptoms usually last for up to four weeks and can include difficulty sleeping, nightmares, flashbacks, and problems with concentration. In most cases, the symptoms of ASD will improve or go away entirely within this period of time.
ASD can affect people who have had no previous experience with psychological trauma and are not at increased risk for developing PTSD, but certain populations are more vulnerable to developing both conditions. These include people who have experienced previous trauma in their life or those who have a personal or family history of mental health issues as well as people who lack social support, live in an unsafe environment, and/or experience poverty or other difficult life circumstances.
Seek professional help if you experience the symptoms of acute stress disorder, as this can be a sign of underlying trauma that needs to be addressed in order for you to heal and move forward. Doing so will also help reduce the risk of developing PTSD if it has not already been diagnosed.
Complex PTSD or CPTSD
Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a condition that can develop after enduring prolonged and repeated trauma, such as in cases of abuse or neglect over many years. Symptoms of C-PTSD include difficulty controlling emotions, difficulties with relationships, intrusive memories and flashbacks, and problems regulating the nervous system.
Unlike PTSD, C-PTSD is not considered a single disorder but rather a cluster of symptoms that are experienced as a result of chronic trauma. Complex PTSD tests and assessments can be difficult, and it requires specialized treatment in order for the individual to heal and move forward.
How Do I Know If I Need Help with Trauma?
If you are struggling to cope with the emotional fallout from a traumatic experience, or if your symptoms are impacting your daily life, it is time to seek professional help. A mental health professional such as a psychologist and the psychiatric staff at Icarus can evaluate your symptoms and provide individual therapy, group therapy, or medication to help you manage the trauma.
Be honest about your experiences with our mental health professionals, as they can best help you if they understand the full scope of what you are going through. It may also be helpful to keep a journal or speak to friends or family members who can provide support during this difficult time.
How Do I Begin Healing from Trauma? Our Top 5 Suggestions
The healing process after trauma can be a long and challenging journey, but there are ways you can take active steps to begin the process. These include:
1) Taking Care of Physical Health
The healing process after any type of trauma can be made easier if you take care of your physical health. This involves getting enough sleep, eating nutritiously, exercising regularly, and engaging in relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation. Physical self-care gives you the energy and strength to cope with the emotional effects of trauma.
2) Expressing Emotions
Expressing emotions in healthy ways can help you manage and process the trauma. This could involve writing or journaling, engaging in art therapy, or speaking with a therapist to talk through your experiences. It is also important to focus on positive self-talk that encourages healing rather than language that puts you down.
3) Learning New Coping Skills
It is essential to learn new coping skills to help manage difficult emotions and triggers. This could include setting realistic goals, starting with small steps that will feel achievable, or connecting with others who understand what you are going through in support groups or online forums. Developing healthy coping strategies can make it easier to cope with the trauma over time, allowing you to move forward in your healing journey.
4) Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals is important in order to make progress in your healing journey. Start with small steps that will feel achievable, and gradually work on more challenging tasks as you go. This could involve anything from writing down three positive things every day to engaging in a new activity that helps reduce stress. Having attainable goals can help motivate you to keep going even during difficult times.
5) Connect with Others
It is important to connect with others who understand what you are going through, as this can help provide emotional support and reduce feelings of isolation. This could involve joining a support group or online forum that provides a space for people to share their experiences. It can also be helpful to talk to friends or family members who can provide understanding and empathy.
How Can Professional Assistance Help with Psychological Trauma?
Recovering from trauma can be incredibly difficult, and sometimes it takes more than just time for a person to heal. In these cases, the help and guidance of a mental health specialist can make all the difference in how quickly someone recovers.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) advises on the warning signs of emotional distress that can lead to trauma and recommends those struggling to seek professional support.
Here are some ways a mental health specialist can help with recovery from trauma:
Understand Your Trauma
The first step in recovery from trauma is understanding what happened. A mental health specialist can provide the support and guidance to help you make sense of your experiences and understand how they have impacted your life. Through conversations, reflection, and other therapeutic techniques, you will be able to gain insight into the root of your trauma and learn how to start healing.
Learn Healthy Coping Strategies
Recovery from trauma also involves learning new coping strategies to help manage difficult emotions and triggers. A mental health specialist at Icarus can provide the tools you need to develop healthy coping skills that are tailored to your individual needs, such as relaxation techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or mindfulness practices. With these strategies in place, it will be easier to manage the emotional fallout of your trauma as you work toward recovery.
Develop Positive Self-Talk
Recovery from trauma also involves learning how to talk to yourself in a positive and encouraging way. A mental health specialist can help you identify negative thought patterns and replace them with more helpful, supportive statements. By doing this, you can create a more positive mindset that will help you move forward in your healing and recovery journey.
Set Realistic Goals
Trauma recovery is often a long and challenging process, so it is important to set realistic goals for yourself. A mental health specialist can provide guidance on how to set achievable goals and milestones that are tailored to your individual situation. This can help you stay motivated and make progress even when the process feels overwhelming.
Find Supportive Resources
It is also important to find supportive resources in your recovery from trauma, such as support groups or online forums. A mental health specialist can provide guidance on where to find these resources and how to best use them for your benefit. By connecting with others who understand what you are going through, you will have a sense of community and support as you work through your trauma.
Make an Action Plan
Recovery from trauma also involves creating an action plan to help guide your healing journey. A mental health specialist can provide advice on how to create an effective action plan that is tailored to your individual needs and goals. Having a clear plan in place can help you stay focused on the steps necessary for recovery and provide a sense of structure as you move forward.
What is the Relationship Between Trauma and Substance Abuse?
The relationship between trauma and substance abuse is complex, but it is an important one to understand. Trauma can lead to substance abuse in a variety of ways, from self-medicating in order to cope with difficult emotions to using substances as a way to escape reality. Here are some ways that trauma and substance abuse are connected:
One of the most common connections between trauma and substance abuse is self-medication. This involves using drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with difficult emotions, such as sadness, anger, or fear. These substances can provide temporary relief from painful memories or feelings, but they are not effective long-term solutions for dealing with trauma. In fact, over time this can lead to a cycle of addiction and further difficulties.
Another way that trauma and substance abuse are connected is through escaping reality. Some people use drugs or alcohol as a way to “forget” their own traumatic memories or experiences by numbing themselves to the pain. This may provide temporary relief, but it also puts them at risk of compounding their issues with further substance abuse.
The link between trauma and substance abuse can also be connected to avoidance. Many people who suffer from trauma find it difficult to confront their experiences, so they may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to avoid thinking about them. While this may provide short-term relief, it is not an effective way to deal with the underlying issues and can result in further difficulties.
Trauma can also lead to an increase in risk-taking behaviors, such as experimenting with drugs or participating in dangerous activities while under the influence. This often occurs when people are looking for a way to feel more powerful or in control of their lives. While this can provide a temporary sense of relief, it can also lead to further difficulties down the line.
The Complexity of Trauma and Substance Abuse
The relationship between trauma and substance abuse is a complex one. There are many different factors at play that can make it difficult to untangle them. If you or someone you know is struggling with trauma and substance abuse, it is time to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.
These two issues cannot be treated separately. For successful treatment, they must be treated at the same time by professionals who have experience with both of these conditions.
Reach Out to Icarus and Recover from Emotional Trauma Today
Do you want to heal your trauma symptoms? Whether from childhood trauma or adult trauma, knowing how to do this isn’t easy. While you may be able to reduce these symptoms by using the information in this blog, if you have severe trauma, you are likely to need professional help.
If you have experienced trauma and have mental health concerns, please contact us at Icarus Behavioral Health. We can help you become well again, so please reach out to get recovery options today!
All calls are completely confidential.